Mobile payments in emerging markets set to soar

Michael Carroll
04 Aug 2010

The number of users accessing mobile payment systems in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) emerging markets will surge by almost a million per week to hit 290 million by 2015, consultancy Arthur D. Little predicts.

High mobile phone penetration and low access to regular banking services will drive users from 32 million currently, presenting opportunities for m-payment providers in those markets, the firm said.

Managing director Thomas Kuruvilla says the geography of the markets is another factor in the expected growth, noting there is a “substantial base of people on a low income spread across vast distances who own mobile phones and require banking services.”

That creates an opportunity for service providers to “meet the need for a more extensive payment distribution network, especially in rural areas,” he added.

The firm predicts traditional banks will take the lead in Brazil and India, while in Russia MNO’s will likely start offering mobile utility bill payment services

China is likely to use SMS infrastructure to develop m-payment systems, the consultancy forecasts.

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